New restrictions to how much time children under the age of 18 can spend using electronic devices came into being on Friday, when an amendment to a child rights protection act cleared the floor of the legislature.
The revision to the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法) expands existing regulations that ban underage smoking, drinking and betel nut and drug use to cover the use of electronic devices.
The new regulation stipulates that minors “may not constantly use electronic products for a period of time that is not reasonable,” according to the amendment.
Parents, legal guardians or those caring for youths can be fined up to NT$50,000 if they are found to have allowed children in their care to use electronic devices to an extent that causes them to become ill, either physically or mentally, the amendment said.
However, the new regulation fails to define what timeframe legislators deem to be “reasonable.”
The revision was proposed by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), who said the new regulation is aimed at protecting the young from “indulging in electronic entertainment for long periods of time.”
However, Lu’s proposal sparked immediate debate on the definition of “a long period of time” during a preliminary legislative review.
According to Chang Hsiu-yuan (張秀鴛), director of the Department of Protective Services at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 30 minutes could be a “reasonable” period of time for children above the age of two to use electronic devices, while it is recommended that children under that age not use any electronic devices.
The ministry will discuss with local governments a more definitive timeframe and how to enforce the new regulation based on the Health Promotion Administration’s advice, Social and Family Affairs Administration Division head Wu Hui-chun (吳惠君) said.
Another revision to the act that received legislative approval stipulates a four to 50 hour parent education program as punishment for parents, legal guardians or those caring for children who fail to prevent their charges from using drugs or entering adult clubs, as well as if they are found to have abandoned or abused children physically or mentally, forced a minor to beg for money or left children under six years of age or children that require special unattended.
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) should not use the government’s disease-prevention policy as an excuse to block people’s access to the Taipei Railway Station’s main hall, the Taiwan International Workers’ Association said yesterday. The association held a protest at the station after what organizers said were about 400 people staged a sit-in on Saturday to demonstrate against the TRA’s proposal to ban sitting on the floor of the main hall. In accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s disease-prevention measures, large gatherings have been banned in the hall since the end of February. After protesters yesterday expressed their grievances at the southern
Nematode-trapping fungi have been found to be natural killers of nematodes and their mechanisms might facilitate the development of new drugs or biological control agents, an Academia Sinica researcher said yesterday. Mostly measuring less than 1mm, nematodes are found in soil worldwide and most are not visible to the naked eye, Academia Sinica Institute of Molecular Biology assistant research fellow Hsueh Yen-ping (薛雁冰) told a news conference in Taipei. Some nematodes can cause infections in humans or damage plants, but existing pesticides, such as ivermectin, aldicarb and levamisole, can only inhibit their activity and the poisons’ efficacy are declining due to